Selecting the right high-performance media mill for your application is not always simple. Whether you are manufacturing pigmented inks, technical ceramics, coatings, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals or nano-scale high-tech products, it is important to find the mill that will save the most time and money over the life of the equipment. Following is a comparison of the features of horizontal vs vertical mills.

Vertical Mills

The average vertical mill is made up of a large vertical grinding chamber featuring a centrally located agitator with a number of grinding disks mounted on it. At the bottom of the shaft is a balance pulley which centers the shaft and directs the flow of the product from the grinding vessel. The premix material enters from the bottom of the mill, is sheared by rotating disks, and exits through a separation device at the top of the vessel.

Typical vertical mill tasks include precision drilling, fly cutting, boring, and milling.

Vertical mills are used worldwide, but they tend to be limited in media volume charge and have fluidizing issues related to the use of finer grinding media. In general, gravity, media flotation and abrasion prevent vertical mills from being loaded with as much media as horizontal mills. Gravity causes the media to return to the bottom of the mill when it loses energy. Another challenge is in obtaining very fine particle sizes.

Traditional vertical mills and ball mills are often limited to a finished particle size of approximately 5 microns, which can be achieved only with careful attention to media size.

Horizontal Mills

In contrast to vertical mills, horizontal mills have certain characteristics that are better suited to wet grinding. A horizontal mill is generally made up of a horizontal tubular grinding chamber, in the center of which is an agitator shaft with agitator disks. Energy is transferred from the disk to the fluid in the mill and the product is sheared by the surface of the media rather than by the disks. Media is uniformly distributed and there is little physical attrition.

Some advantages of horizontal mills in wet milling incl

  • Highly efficient use of small amounts of media
  • Media can be as small as .25 mm and as large as 2 mm
  • Significant reduction in product loss
  • Maximum color strength, gloss durability and yield
  • Process time reduced by as much as 300%
  • Raw material costs reduced by about 5%
  • Minimal contamination, clean-up, and solvent loss
  • Resists abrasion
  • Relatively low operation, control and maintenance requirements
  • Consistent and predictable performance

Custom Milling & Consulting, Inc. is a market leader in the manufacture of mixers and wet grinding media mills for particle size reduction, offering durable and efficient processing equipment such as the CMC Supermill Plus™ media mill and the CMC Batch Mill.

We also provide industrial toll processing services for the automotive, agricultural, pharmaceutical, ceramics, paper coating, power and electronics, specialty chemical and various other industries.

CMC’s advanced milling and dispersion technology can eliminate particle agglomeration and reduce the particle size of raw materials in a liquid medium. We offer 25 years of expertise with services such as grinding, milling, micronization, emulsification, and agglomeration.

We are happy to provide you with more information about horizontal vs vertical mill technology, and will work with you to find the most energy- and time-efficient process for your manufacturing needs.